Story about Kranjska klobasa

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The Carniolian Sausage is one of the most famous Slovenian traditional dishes. Its origins dates back at 19th century at Gorenjska (Upper Carniola); but nowadays Carniolian Sausage is known and appreciated not only in Slovenia but worldwide. 

The story goes that the name of sausage was given by Franz Joseph, the Austro Hungarian Emperor, who on the way from Vienna stopped at that time famous inn close to the city of Kranj (Carniola) and ordered just a regular sausage because there was nothing else on the menu as innkeeper explained to him. The taste of the sausage excited the Emperor so much that he exclaimed: “This is not a regular but Carniolian Sausage!”

Since then its fame extended to the whole Slovenia and beyond. Back then in Slovenia there were several butchers who supplied the meat markets with Carniolian Sausage to the areas as far as Vienna.  Nowadays many Slovenian expats are keeping the habit of eating Carniolian Sausage and so they are contributing to its worldwide recognition. One of the most noticeable example is from an American astronaut with Slovenian roots, Sunita Williams, who took the Carniolian Sausage on her journey to the Universe.

Only one is the Carniolian Sausage

There is a vast offer of sausages similar to Carniolian Sausage but only certificated producers can name it Kranjska klobasa or Carniolian Sausage. To prepare the Carniolian Sausage only top quality pork meat can be used. Filling consist of 75-80 % of pork meat and 20 -25% of hard bacon and spices (garlic, salt, peper). Filling is stuffed in the thin pork entrails casing diameter of 32 to 36 millimetres. Proper length of the Carniolian Sausage is between 12 to 16 centimetres. Sausages have to be placed in smoking chamber that is airy but not to warm. Alternatively, if not even better option, the sausages can be conserved in lard.

Certificated label of Carniolian Sausage
Street sign for Klobasarna; the Carniolian Sauasage eatery

Ingredients of the Carniolian Sausage

This is the list of ingredients according to the oldest written recipe from Felicita Kalinsek in her cookbook Slovenska kuharica (Slovenian Cookbook) from 1912.

  • 6 kg pork (abdominal part)
  • Hard fresh bacon
  • 18 dag salt
  • 0,5-1 dag saltpetre
  • 0,5 -1 dag crushed black pepper
  • ¼ water
  • 1 head crushed garlic
  • Pig’s entrails for casing

How to properly cook the Carniolian Sausage

Put the Carniolian Sausage into the cold water and then heat the water until boil. Once the water is boiling remove the pot with the Carniolian Sausage from the heat and leave it into the water for 10 minutes. Than is ready to serve.  Traditionally the Carniolian Sausage is served warm together with sauerkraut or sour turnip. If you prefer to eat it cold than you can serve it together with a mustard, a horseradish, bread and with a glass of beer.

Other names fot the Carniolian Sausage

In German speaking nations this dish is called Krainer Wuerst while Englishh speking nations also name it Kransky Sausage. Its original, Slovenian name is Kranjska klobasa.

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